Monday, February 8, 2016

Doublespeak

"When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name...'" (Luke 11:2).

The Lord's Prayer is not the most words - just the right ones.  In explaining the Lord's Prayer, Luther wrote: "The fewer the words, the better the prayer; the more the words, the poorer the prayer."

Matthew and Luke record the Lord's Prayer.  The version with which we are familiar is the one from Matthew.  It has a total of 70 words.  But understood theologically, each word should be counted twice, for a total of 140.

This is because when we pray the Lord's Prayer, we are speaking to God.  That much is clear.  But something else is happening too.  He is speaking to us.  Call it "doublespeak" - but of a good kind!  (Not the kind used by advertisers when, for example, they say: "Free with the purchase of....")

Every word of the Lord's Prayer is a Word from God to us through Jesus.  Yes, we are speaking to Him.  But underneath that, and over top of it, God is telling us who He is (Our Father), who we are (His children), what to ask, and what to expect.  And so the petitions of the Lord's Prayer are also promises.  God is promising in the Lord's Prayer to take care of us, forgive us, help us to forgive others, and at last deliver us from all evil.

We tend to think of prayer as our doing, our part.  True enough.  But in the Lord's Prayer, God is doing His part: revealing His heart.

Pray the Lord's Prayer, and in the same moment hear the Lord speaking to you!